Tibetan grammar: supplement of readings with vocabulary

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TIBETAN GRAMMAR Supplement of Readings with Vocabulary by

J O H N L. M I S H Chief, Oriental Division, N e w York Public Library


The main body of the GRAMMAR is based on the second edition as prepared by H. Wenzel.

Copyright 1954 b y Frederick Ungar Pub1 ishing Co. Printed in the United States of -America

Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 54-11389 Fourtl~Printing, 1974

ISBN 0-8044-0217-5

PUBLISHERS' NOTE Since it is so difficult for the student to obtain any kind of material in the Tibetan language, we are issuing this new printing of Jaschke's well-known text, which has been largely unavailable for many years. The reading matter has been expanded by the addition of a selection from Mdzangs-

blun, third chapter, according to the Schmidt edition. To increase the value of the present text for the reader, we have added a helpful Vocabulary in which the student will find all words in the reading exercises.

Abbreviations. act. = active. C or CT = Central Tibet, especially the provinces of u and Tsan. cf. = confer, compare. Dzl. = Llzanlun. e. g. = exempli gratia, for instance. ET = East Tibet. fut. = future. imp. = imperative. inf. = infinitive. i. o. = instead of. Kopp. = Koppen.

Kun. = Kunawur, province under English protection. Ld. = Ladak, province. Mil. = Milaraspa. neutr. = neuter verb. perf. or pf. = perfect. pres. = present. S. = see. term. = terminative case. Thgy. = Thar - gyan , scientific treatises. v. = vide, see. vulg. = vulgar expression. W or WT = Western Tibet.

C o n t e n t s. I

. P h o n o l o g y.

1. Alphabet . . . . . . 2. Remarks . . . . . . 3. Vowels . . . . . . 4. Syllables . . . . . . 5. Final Consonants . . . 6 Diphthongs . . . . . 7 Co~npoundConsonants . 8. Prefixed Letters . . . 9. Word; Accent; Quantity 10. Punctuation . . . .





11. 12. 13



15. 16. 17


18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23.


11 E t y m o l o g y I. A r t i c l e . Peculiarities of the Tibetan Article . . Difference of the Articles . . . . . The Indefinite Article . . . . . . . I1. S u b s t a n t i v e. Number . . . . . . . . . . . . Declension . . . . . . . . . . . I11. A d j e c t i v e . Relation to the Substantive . . . . . Comparison . . . . . . . . . . . I V. N u m e r a l s . Cardinal numerals . . . . . . . . Ordinal numerals . . . . . . . . Remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . Distributive numerals . . . . . . . Adverbial numerals . . . Fractional numerals . . . .

. . . . . . . 17 . . . . . . . 18

. . . . . . .



24. 25. 26. 27 . 28. 29. 30.

31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46 .

47 .

48. 49. 50.


V . P r o n o u n s.

Personal pronouns . . . . . . . Possessive pronouns . . . . . . . Reflective pronouns . . . . . . . Demonstrative pronouns . . . . . Intei~ogativepronouns . . . . . Relative pronouns . . . . . . . . V I. V e r b . . . . . . . . . . Introduction Inflection . . . . . . . . . . Infinitive . . . . . . . . . . . Participle . . . . . . . . . . Finite Verb . . . . . . . . . Present . . . . . . . . . . . Preterit . . . . . . . . . . . Future . . . . . . . . . . . Imperative . . . . . . . . . . Intensive . . . . . . . . . . . Substantive Verbs . . . . . . . Gerunds and Supines . . . . . . VII. A d v e r b . . . . . . . . V I I I. P o s t p o s i t i o n . . . . . I X. C o n j u n c t i o n . . . . . X. I n t e r j e c t i o n . . . . . X I. D e r i v a t i o n : Derivation of Substantives . . . . Derivation of Adjectives . . . . .

. S y n t a x.

I11 Arrangement of Words Use of the Cases . . Simple Sentences . . Compound Sentences .

. . . .

. . . .


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34 36 37 37 38 38

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40 41 42 43 45 46 47 48 49 50 51

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65 67 74 76

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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80 81 82 83


Appendix Phrases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Reading Exercises Vocabulary . . . Verbs . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


. . . . . . . . . . . . . 103

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


Errata. Page 3, line 13 read 4, 2 4, ,, 7 4, 9 n 4, n 14 n 4, 20 4, 21 dele n 5, ,, 5 dele 4 read 7, 7, v 5 n 7, * 11 ,, 8, , 1 ,, n 8, 9 12 8, 16 8, 19 n 8, n 23 ,, n 8, n 24 ,, 10 , 9, n 4 n 10, 1 , n 9 12, n 21 1 n 13, n 7 n 13, 6 ,, 14, n 3 n 20, 20, , 5 9, 20, v 19 , 5 n 21,



.. %




a t instead of in. respectively. w h i c h instead of whom. u n d e r particular. instead of ' c r ; j i . exertion. to. down. s u c c e s s i o n instead of conjunction. e a c h instead of either. s u b s c r i b e d instead of subjoined. f o o t for food. s u b s c r i b e d for subjoined. homonyms. language. o v e r instead of above. consonants. case. judgment. except. it instead of is. which serve t o d e n o t e . preceding. exclamation. indiscriminately. superseded. But. adds.

u p

page 23, line 99 26, 26, n 26, n n 33, n n 3% n n 36, n 36, ,I n 38, n n 39, n n 40, n n 40, n n 40, n 41, 41, 41, n n 42, ,, n 42, rn n 43, n n 45, n n 46, n n 46, n n 52, n n 53, n n 53, n fl






55, 58,


61, 64,






n n 3

1 read 13 24 27 6 14 , 1 16 n 11 , 14

motion. terminations. precedes. higher t h a n . t o denote. letter-writing. The t e r m s most, &c. high person s p e a k i n g of himself. ghan. YOU may. 7 verbs. 21 , an Accusative. 25 neutre. 10 form instead of shape. 11 forms instiad of shapes. 22 ,, the Perfect p r ef e r s. I ,, P e r f e c t . 16 , rec ognise s instead of acknowledges. 20 ,, i d e a instead of notion. 14 with t h e except.ion. 6 w h i c h will a l w a y s be. 10 t o one. 15 it e x p r e s s e s . 11 found. 24 passive s e n s e , o p p o s e d to &c. 7 affixes. 12 n that it. 12 , king's. 8 ,, i n t e n d e d .




, 54.5', p r i n c i p a l l y , \7


Part I. Phonology. 1. The Alphabet. The Tibetan Alphabet was adapted from the LmiiEa


(a?'&)form of the Indian letters by


.*4Jb(l (qwQ'F 5) minister of king &on-ban5

yam-po (%$~~4d~.rild;l~q) about the year 632 (s. Ktipp. 11, 56). The Indian letters out of which the single Tibetan characters were formed are given in the following table in their NBgari shape. surd.




7' 3 ka 19' W h?a 7' Ir ga c 3 ria palatals. . . 3' 7 ?a 2 C ja 7. 3 iia I 1 dentals. . . 5 ' " t a a $ q d a q n a gutturals.




. . 4'

palatal si-] bili~nts..

9 pa


v' V



' 4' Pi $a



g f s a



3' za


q' 4 ma

"\' ,a


1. The Alphabet.

I t is seen from this table that several signs have been added to express sounds that are unknown in Sanscrit. & $I evidently were differentiated from the The sibilants


palatals. But as in transcribing Sanscrit words the Tibetans substitute their sibilants for the palatals of the original (as 6'q' for *), we must suppose that the sibilisation of


those consonants, common at present among the Hindus on the Southern slopes of the Himalaya (who speak tsar for w ~four , etc.), was in general use with those Indians from whom the Tib. Alphabet was taken (cf. also the Afghan 6and Z: likewise sprung from and c). is differentiated from a', which itself often is pronounced v, as shewn in


the sequel; in transcribing Sanscrit, ip and q both are given, generally, by 9 only.

seems to be formed out of


to which it is related in sound. 3' evidently is only the inverted E'.

IN'corresponds with Sanscrit a.

is newly

invented; for its functions see the following $5. - The letters which are peculiar to Sanscrit are expressed, in transcribing , in the following manner. a) The linguals, simply by inverting the signs of the dentals: thus,


2, 8'



7' 3,

5' under

iF 8. b) The sonant aspirates, by

the sonants: thus,

7'V, $ SJ, 7' 3 , c, q ci

A very clear exposition of the ramification of Indian alphabets by Dr. H a a s is t o be found in the Publications of t,he Palaeographical Society Oriental Series IV, pl XLIV. *)

8. Etemarks. 3. Vowels.


2. Remarks. 1. Regarding the pronunciation of the single letters, as given above, it is to be born in mind, that surds 4' are uttered without the least admixture of

7' 5'

an aspiration, viz. as k, t, p are pronounced in the words 4' forcibly, rather skate, stale, spear; the aspirates


harder than the same in Kate, tale, peer; the sonants

$ 4.


like g, cl, b in gate, dale, beer. 2. The same difference

of hardness is to be observed in

a' & E' or

?, E, j (c'oc-

curs in church; i., the same without aspiration; j in judge) or ts, Fs, ds. 3. is the soft modificaand in b'


tion of i or the s in leisure (French j in jamais, but more palatal). 4. C is the English ng in sing, but occurs in Tibetan often in the commeocement of a syllable. 5. is the Hindi q,or the initial sound in the word new, which w~ouldbe spelled

4' au.

6. I n the dialects of Eastern or


Chinese-Tibet, however, the soft consonants 9)'

7 4' E' c',

when occurring as initials, are pronounced with an aspiration, similar to tbe Hindi Q, y, y, p, or indeed so that they often scarcely differ from the common English k, t, p, ch; also and 3' are more difficult to distinguish from


q' and N' than in the Western provinces

(Exceptions s.

56 7. 8). 3. Vowels. 1. Since every consonant sign implies, like its Sanscrit prototype, a following a, unless some other vowel sign is attached to it, no particular sign is wanted to denote this vowel, except in some cases specified in the


4. Syllables.

following $5. The special vowel signs are 5 , 5 9 2, G , pronounced respectivily as e, i, o, u are in German, Italian and most other European languages, viz. I- like ay in say, or e in ten; 3 like i in machine, tin; -Z like o in so, on; w like u in rule, pull. I t ought to be specially remarked that $1 vowels, including e and o (unlike the Sanscrit vowels from whom they have taken their signs) are short, since no long vowels at all occur in the Tibetan language, except particular circumstances, mentioned below (s. 5 9. 5, 6). 2. When vowels are initial, W is used as their base, as is arna, ,motherc. 3. q is originally in Urdu, e. g. WWb;l' different fromlN; as the latter denotes the opening of the previously closed throat for pronouncing a vowel with that s

slight explosive sound which the Arabs mean by I (~p) as the a in the words: the lily, a n endogen, which would be in Tibetan characters

Q'qowq-;(2,- on the contrary is

the mere vowel without that audible opening of the throat (as Arabic I without

s ) ,

as in Lilian,

Q'Q'R,?' I n Eastern

Tibet this difference is strictly observed; and if the vowel is o or u the intentional exercion for avoiding the sound of

Wwmakes it resemble to wo and wu: most like wo-ma,

q7.q' ,the



qd;~' ,the milk:

= wug-pa.


I n western

Tibet this has been obliterated, and is there spoken just like 4. Syllables. The Tibetan language is monosyllabic, that is to say all its words consist of one syllable only, which indeed may be variously composed, though the


5 . Final consonants.

t; componeng parts cannot, in every case, be recognised in their individuality. The mark for the end of such a syllable is a dot, called

X?' fsseg, put at the right side of the upper

part of toheclosing letter, such as

7' the syllable ka.


fseg must invariably be put down at the end of each written syllable, except before a Sad (5 lo), iu which case only Clia retains its fseg. If therefore such a dot is found after two or more consonants, this will indicate that all of them, some way or other, form one syllable with only one vowel ka-ra, kar (cf. $fj5. 8). in it :



5. Final consonants. 1. Only the following ten:

$ 7 4' q' q' T 4'

q' r

(and the four with affixed


v. 5) occur at the end of a syllable. 2. I t must be observed, that 4' as finals are never pronounced like the Eng-

7' 7

lish g, d, b in leg, bad, cab, but are transformed differently in the different provinces. In Ladak they sound like k, t, p

Nq' = sock, TT = got, r4~=top. 4

e. g.

Tibet, moreover, final

7 and di',

3. I n all Central

sometimes even Q', modi-

fy the sound of a preceeding vowel: a to a (similar to the Engliah a in hare, man), o into o (French eu in jm), u into u (French u in mur). I n most of the other provinces and are uttered so indistinctly as to be scarcely aud-


Gq', T7 become sd', 96'. I n Tsang even final W' is scarcely perceptible, and final q', particularly after 0,

ible, so that


is almost dissolved into a vowel sound = a: WWq' so-wa,

7%'@$qvkoon-choa. *)

4. Final

q' is

sounded as s only

in Northern Ladak; elsewhere it changes into i or dissappears entirely, prolonging, or even modifying at the same time the preceding vowel. Thus the following words: * d i q w,barley6, ,know6, .Tq',figurek, ,religion6, PJN'



bodyc, are pronounced in Northern Ladak: ncis, 86,ris, Eos, Zzis; i n Lahoul: nai, shei, ri, 20, Zir; in Lhasa, and consequently by everyone who wishes to speak elegantly: a , Z , r , , Z . 5. I n some words final qwoccurs as 7

a s e c o n d closing letter (affix), after


E' 4'

q',as in

indigo'; these are pronounced i n N. Ladak : nacks, ga7is, t'aps, rams, elsewhere nack (in U: no), gali (ET ghang), tap, ram. 6. before 4' and b(T' is especially in ET very often proJ


a, fiem-pa. nounced m, e.g. fl'q' a i i m - p , R w 4 'f i ~ m - ~@'4-

6. Dipthongs. 1. They occur in Tibetan writing only where one of the vowels i, o, u have to be added to a word ending with an other vowel (s. $5 15.1; 33.1; 45.2). These additional vowels are then always written I


IN' etc.

(as in

47?, ,

like B,



5 3. 3); &')

q, q, 9' - 7

and the combinations ai, oi, ui are pronounced very much

G, so that the syllables

qq, YR,', .Ty,Xq 7-



This is the form in which the word, chosen by the missionaries to express the Christian ,,Godu (cf. dict.), 11as found it's way into several popular works. *)


7. Compound consonants.

Y? can only in some vulgar dialects be distinguished from those mentioned in uu,



5 5.4. 2. The others ao, eo, io, 00, W , , 43T, , qyifC.9 73, \

35, ps) are

pronounced in rapid conjunction, but either vowel is distinctly audible. I n prosody they are generally regarded as one syllable, but if the verse should require it they may be counted as two. 7. Compound consonants. 1. They are expressed in writing by putting one below the other, in which case several change their original figure. S u b j o i n e d c o n s o n a n t s . 2. The letter y subjoined to another is reyreseuted by the figure ,, and occurs in connection with the three gutturals m d labials, and with m, thus 4J' The former three have


3 3. 3. 9'.

preserved, in most cases, their original pronunciation kya, Eya, gya (the latter in E T : ghya s. 8 2. 6). I n the Mongol pronunciation of Tibet,an words, however, they have been corrupted into 2, E, j respectively, a well known instance of which is the common pronunciation Kanjur i. o. kangyur, or eleg. ka-gyur




9, $, 3

are almost


everywhere spoken without any difference from 3,


(except in the Western dialect before e and i, where the y is dropped and 4 , 4 , 4 alone are pronounced). is spoken my

= 4.


dentals, lnbials, of


occurs at the foot of the gutturals,

q, 9 , N , and 5, in the shape of

In some parts of the country, as i n Purig, these combina-


8. Compound consonants.

tions are pronounced literally, like kra, khra etc., but by far the most general custom is to sound them like the Indian cerebrals, viz. $, CJ indiscriminately = z $;


q = 3 P ; 4J,

q, 5 . Q = 3d


(in CT: (Ih); only in the

case of Q the literal pronunciation b r is not uncommon.

In 4 and J .& both letters are distinctly heard; Y

shr in shrub, and so does 5 J generally. In nearly in all cases: thus, are often found with an in these the

7 pa,

5 sounds like

u this .r is dropped

sa etc. 4. Six letters


g' fl' 8 4' 3

alone is pronounced, except in



v* 9


sounds da. 5. The figure d , sometimes found at the food of a letter is used in Sanscrit words to express the subjoined q, as in d (cf. S 9.6) for q r q ~and ; is now pronounced qq by Tibetans = a: soha; in words originally Tibetan it now exists merely as an orthographical mark, to distinguish homonymes in writing, as & Fsa ,hotCand& &a ,saltc;but,



as it is spoken, in some words at least, in Balti (e. g.

g* 4

rtswa ,grassc, it must be suuposed that, in the primitive

form of the lauguage, it was generally heard. - Note. Of such compounds, indeed, as ,lotc it is difficult to under-

3' A

stand, how they can have been pronounced literally, if the v was not, perhaps, pronounced b e f o r e the y. S u p e r a d d e d c o n s o n a n t s . 6. r above another consonant is written -, and 11 contonants have this sign:



ft' 8'


it preserves

7. Cornpound consonants. - Examples.


its full shape, as better adapted to the form of that letter: thus, T . I n speaking it is seldom heard except provincially,


and in some instances in compound words after a vowel thus, Urgycin, Urgyb, ancient name of the country of

w.34' w


Tt'.ddrje ,vajraL.Ladakees often pronounce it =s:

$ sta ,horseb elsewhere

ta. 7. Similar is the usage in those

with a superadded nl (namely: the surds and sonants of the first four classes, the guttural nasal, and c)), which latter is often softly heard in WT, but entirely dropped elsewhere, except in the ease of "I, which is spoken = nl in


WT, but with a distinct aspiration = hla or Zha in El'. 8. N is superadded to the gutturals, dentals and labials with exception of the aspiratae, then

7 and 8. I t is, in

many cases, distinctly pronounced in Ladak, but dropped elsewhere"). 9. 4' E' with any superadded

7' C

letter lose the aspiration mentioned in 3 2 . 6 and sound = often lose even the inherent g, d, b, j , ds. 10. C'


t-sound in pronunciation and are spoken like j ,



*) This will be indicated in the following examples by including the s in parentheses, as (s)koin.

P9,q-kcircular. yk-bir, kjnl


3 7 ~gyen-la, '


Examples. round, 1 kyu, hook,




kt~od,C: Ey'y6', you.

gqwFc q q o , rich-

/ 37 W: \

gqqwZug(s), \7

U: b, cattle.

$ed C:




g-q W : jci-mo,

C: Ja-no,



Rqq- fim(s), judgement.

W : dad-mo, C: Rchild.



q7-6.7-Bran -ma,




- clu-wa




11 note),


ndn-po, C : ncrn-PO, sharp.


ja*-tu (Ld. Zio),green.

S;q' (s)kom,


(s)go, door.

rq'(sIY~'r-wa) to

3 b


I 5q-q 1 rg'q' *

1 1 FGJm 1 5T Z!:;t

~d-mo,easy. ku6-pa, foot.

C : ds?&n,lie,

(Ld. It0), C : 1 y q tad-mo ta9-mo, spectacle.

W : a ) , C : {a, hair. da (rulg :ra), sound, voice.


rjw(,lpu, small



. W : (s)pin, C : Ein, glue. 1 7 ' Ld : ire-u, monkey

- Wmedicine. : (s)man, *)

da,q, (Tag (bra,g), rock. d~ul-po,ragged.




cli, (ti (Pur: gri), knife. W : dan-PO, C: &O, straight.




- W:

Id-ma, priest.

1 - 0 )

3.4 1noon. rn



kc, wages.

( w u




qT'9)' fug-gu,

W: bCma, C: je-ma,

3 w a l

1 w'fal,

tan2, cabbage.



C : man,





- W : (s)?od-pa, C : 26'-

pa, to behave. W : (sb)rul, C: dul, snake. W : fion-pa, C : icnpa, mad.


The concurrence of superadded

q' with a consonant already

S. Yrcfixed letters.

8. Prefixed letters.


1 The five letters

7' 7 4' q'

frequently occur before the real, radical initials of other words, but are seldom pronounced, except in similar cases occurs before 3' 4* 6. 3' Cq* as 0 7. 6.

'3. 5' C



q. N' ; 7 before the gutturals and labials with exceptipn of the aspiratae; 4' before 7' 4(', the palatals, dentals and palatal sibilants with the same exception as uuder

5 , then I


3' T


before the gutturals, palatals, dentals

and palatal sibilants, excepted the surds; hefore the aspiratae and sonants of the five classes. In C.T., to pronounce them in any case, is considered vulgar. 2. The ambiguity which would arise in case of the prefix standing before one of the 10 final consonants, as single radical, the vowel being the unwritten a, - e. g. in the syllable which, if


7 is radical. has to be pronounced dag, if prefixed

ga, - is avoided by adding an a' in the latter case: thus, Other examples are: gad (ga') and . du;

4q' bas (ba, ba)





4qt2( sb;

qT mad (mir') and


is added, though the radical flyR( da; ga. This be not one of the mentioned letters; as, 477f2,' kc. as a prefix and



3. as first radical annul each other, so that 1

only the following sound is heard, as will be seen in the compound produces in W. T some irregularities, which cannot all be specified here (see the diction . The custom of C.T., according to which t,he is entirely neglected is in this instance easier to be followed.


9. Word; Accent; Quantity.

following examples

(74r etc.). 4. Another irregularity

is the n a s a l pronunciation of the prefixed

in compounds

74)'(777' pronounced

after a vowel, which is often heard e.g.


gen-dzin, yen-d$n, but eleg.: ye-dun, ,clergyc; 47yT3q0 kam-bum, eleg. ka-bzim, ,the 100 000 precepts' (title of a book). - Note. With regard to the aspiration of the soft consonants in ET the prefixed letters have the same influence as the superadded ones § 7.9.



bos grunniens.


(Ld: spe-Ea),


4 3 ~ zdli-po, q good. t344-4. ba6-pa, to descend 74C wali, vulg. C :ali, power.

qN' g2

name of the Lhasa district.

7 - 4 en-pa, solitude. 7 9 4 ~yib(s), . d, figure.

/ 775'Zf kdr-PO, white. 74J-q dd-wo,

1 q~i.g


ridv-mo, sweet.




eleg. &-ii, ourteen.


resp. head.


1 7gT.T-


ug(s), C: ug, breath.


pal--ka, summer.

$Oa*l/B-wa, e-wa, difference.

9. Word; Accent; Quantity. 1. The peculiarity of the Tibetan mode of writing in distinctly marking the wordsyllables, but not the words (ef. § 4) composed of two or more of these, sometimes renders is doubtful what is to be regarded as o n e word. 2. There exist a great number of

9. Word; Accent; Quantit'y.


monosyllables, which serve for denoting different &ades of notions, grammatical relations etc., and are postponed to the word in question; but never alter its original shape, though their own initials are not seldom influenced by its final consonant (cf. 5 15). 3. Such monosyllables may conveniently be regarded as t e r m i n a ti on s, forming one w o r d together with the preceeding nominal or verbal root. 4. The accent is, in such cases, most naturally given to the root, or, in compounds, generally to the latter part

Rq7.mig-gi, ,of ,handc, nlqy4Nwlag-iub(s), ,hand-

of the composition, as:

nlq' lag,

the eyec;

%4(' mig,




covering, glove'. - 5. Equally natural is, in W.T., the q u a n t i t y of tbe vowels: accentuated vowels, when closing the syllable, are comparatively long (though never so long as in the English words bee, stay, or Hindi k!, etc.), otherwise short, as

3. mi


8-q*mi-16 ,to ;be man',

but WT' mcir, ,butterL.- I n CT, however, even accentuated and closing vowels are uttered very shortly: mi, mi-& etc., and long ones occur there only in the case of 5 5, 4. 5. and

8, 2., as qNwli.. ,workc;




73y zi ,planet6; and in Lhasa especially: q4(ww



n141Nw20 ,sidec;

gq(NW la

,manner6. - In Sanscrit words

the long vowels are marked by an beneath the consonant, as : ajq' (qm),called6, (qq) ,rootc (s. 5 3). h


vq' w


10. Punctuation.

10. Punctuation. For separating the members of a longer iad (ia'), is used, period, a vertical stroke: 1, called


which corresponds at once to our comma, semicolon and colon; after the closing of a sentence the same is doubled; after a longer piece, e g. a chapter, four Buds are put. No marks of interrogation or exlamation exist in punctuation. 2. In metrical compositions, the double Sad is used for separating the single verses; in that case the logical partition of the sentence is not marked (cf. 5 4).

A list of a few useful words.




Ed-ra, I ? ,- w: p-5- kd-ra, sugar.


un, C: &n, all.

F q ' ka&-pa, house. PE' bi, hole. \ gaG, C: &a&,



qq W: gur,

C : gur', tent.



7.5' YT Or

W :ga-ru, gar, C : $, where?

Eq' rial, fatigue.

2 ti, what?

SEW a , beer.

5yq- W: p

SY4' Edr-pa, rain.

a , C: %'pa, punishment.

&L*qw Xllr-wa, little. u

E' W: ,ja, C: )'a, tea.


rii-ma, sun; day.

1 23i.T

2n-po, great.

7 iia, fish.

1 41 $$%f



, little, few.


Fq'iiziri-ma, b


ie-mo, near.

yw?nlw lb-ril, tea-pot,kettle. 3 3 tdg-tse (W), hoe.




tag-pa, rope.

M i , the plain.

. W : t'dd-pa, C : to1-pa, 7 W : da, C: ctu, now. skull. TS4' dud-pa, &?-pa, smoke. TC dali, &ari, and; with.



6y-q nag-po,



F*nor, wealth, property. 'T4.

pcan-pa, 6iim-pa, use, benefit.

nad, na', disease.


~pdv-ma, ~ -a p~*inted book.

4qwY7 @ug-rdn, -l*i;n, dove. b

4' ba, k,COW.

4nl' bal, /ial, wool.

g. bu, h, son.


4'b;l.bu-mo, 1 , daughter.

RE' m a i i ,

me, fire.

a$ med, &b;TV


m8', there is not.

tsa+ma, whole. 20, i6, curdled milk.

47 od, wB',light, shine. qq'yi-ge, letter. %$' yod, yii', am, is, ?' ri, hill, mountain.


7 . iag,


C : day, day.

qq' o-ma,

wo-naa, milk.

qc y a i , also. i;jq



gin, am, is, are (cf.

4 39,.

Tq' la-ma, goat.

r;q. rin, C\


q' la, mountain-pass.

qqwlam, road.

7 . lug, sheep.

q*ia, flesh, meat.


Useful words.

4 ~iiri,' tree, wood.

( N' sa, earth.

N' su, who ? b

W-4- a-p'a,

sd-ma, new.

(vulg.) father.



ras) a

cotton '


a-ma (vulg.) mother.

W (Ld: dus) dg, dp, time.

L ~ : Y ~ ~ ) Y . Q ,q4Nw , ~ Q tbb(s), > ~ ~ means. ~~~ 7' - ( ing. W: bag-$e, C: 6'ayQqq'sem, soul. '7.3 L, flour. Bq' &I, blood. ifj: do, $6, wheat.

I 1

$4-4' lebqa, to arrive.



C: tsa, grass.

t f ~ gad--po, T gii"-po,

(s)?cye-wa, 1 84 grow.

BwViron-po, 7iorn-po, blue. 1 QE. 4


to be born,

iriiL, heart.

4]qwl u , bow (for shooting). 737- zig, leopard. %


gun - ka , gun - ka, winter.

d;~g fso, lake. 4

di-wa, to ask.

(u:. y y 6 '57' - gyog(s)-pa pa), fast, qulek.

1 "1-4

- di-wa @m'-wa), write.


11. -4rticle.

Part 11. Etymology.

Chapter I. The Article. 11. Peculiarities of the Tibetan article. 1. What have been called A r t icles by Csoma and Schmidt, are a number of little affixes: 4' 4' brl' -b;i;, and some similar


ones, which might perhaps be more adequately termed den o m i n a t or s , since their principal object is undoubtedly to represent a given root as a noun, substantive or adjective, as is most clearly perceptible in the instance of the roots of verbs, to which 4' or 4' impart the ~ o t i o nof the Infinitive and Participle, or the uearest abstract and nearest concrete nouns that can possibly be formed from the idea of a verb. These affixes are not, however, - except in this case -- essential to a noun, as many substantives and adjectives and most of the pronouns are never accompanied by them, and even those which usually appear connected with them, will drop them upon the slightest occasion. 2. Almost the only case in which a syntactical use of them, like that of the English definite Article, is perceptible, is that mentioned 9 20. 3; a formal one, that of distinguishing the Gender, occurs in a limited number of denotes the female, the masculine. words, where


Thus :

gq'q ad,?-po

3 ,ki o gi, gqw;6. 9 y d l - ~ ~,queen6. o Or,




if the word in the masculine (or rather common) gender has no article,


is added:

3 ~ ~st&-ge 9'



,lionessL. 3. In most instances, by far, their only use is to distinguish different meanings of homonymous roots, e.g.



(s) tdn-pa (tdn-pa)

mo), ,feastL;


FT'~' (s)tdn-Ea


YTW' 4


(s) tdn-mo (tin-

,autumnL. Even this

advantage, however, is given up, as soon as a composition takes lace, and then the meaning can only be inferred

@ E ' ~ T(from

from the context, or known from usage:

yq.< W ) ,name feast'


(given on the occasion of naming or

christening an infant);

q d ' (from

8 ' ),autumnal

monthL. In some instances the putting or omitting of tbesc articles is optional; more frequently the usage varies in different provinces. 4. The peculiar nature of these affixes is most clearly shown by the manner in which they are connected with the indefinite article Q: 13.

Note. The affixes 4' the consonants f .$

,to sayL;

and after

q' always pronounced wa and

instead of ba and 60; thus,


^4: are after vowels


9W'q' nyal-wa






wo) ,lord, master'.

12. Difference of the Articles among each other. 1. The usage of 4' 4 q' is the most general and widest of all,

13. Indefin. Article.


ag they occur with all sorts of substantives and other nouns. 4' is particularly used for denoting a man who is in certain way connected with a certain thing (something like 511, and ,!J in Hindustiini and Persian: ' (la ,schoolc, 4


scholar) ,disciple, novice';

8 h, ,water4,




WN' ,the province of U , VFJ14',a man from u', z j boy' lo .year', 4(qN' fii(s) ,twoc, hence: D3*s]qN'ZJ' - ,a two years' boy'. If the feminine is required 4' is either added to, or - more commonly - used instead .4C: . of, the former: 73FJ'b.l',a woman from U-&; .. w 4 %4 ~( y



bJ. ,a two years' girl'.

The performer of an action is more

frequently denoted by


(or, in more solemn language,

gwq),though, in conversation at least, is preferred;


374' jed-pa



,to do, makc; doing, making':

, 3~b.l[4q* ,the


qpq' &n

doer, maker'.

2. The

7' p' 7 occur with a limited number of nouns

only, especially the names of the seasons, with numerals, seems t,o be a vulgar form of and some pronouns.


pronunciation for


13. The indefinite Article. This is the numeral one (§ 13), which form it retains,

only deprived of its prefix, viz:

if the preceding word ends with



4*,as: ~ 4 ' 3 -


14. Number.

khb-&g, a needle; it is changed to ~m-8i9,~a-iiy,a cloth; to Some authors use

qq*after N*,qv'qq*

qq*2ig ((9iy)


in all other cases.


aqJ.after any termination indisrimina-



I t is, of course, always without accent. The articles 4' etc. are not thrown out by the indefinite article e.g.

F~4*44(' ,a teacherc. I t is rnrn used even after a plurality : thus, &3qw4q*qq*T3qT




,teachar, the teacher',

there were some four wells', and even: ~ ~ ~ ~ 7there being a multitude of them' (from Mil). Very often it is placed after the interrogative pronouns (v. 27), and sometimes its original meaning is obscured so much that it occurs even after known and definite subjects, where one would expect the demonstrative (see f. i. Dzl. 25, 1. 28, 6. 128, 14). 9

Chapter 11. The Substantive. 14. The Number. The Plural is denoted by adding the word


or, more rarely,





or a few other words, which originally were nouns with the common notion of plurality. But this mark of the Plural is usually om~tted,when the plurality of the thing in question may be known from other circumstances, e. g. when a numeral is added: thus,



q*q~q* ,menc, % q g ~ *

,three men'. When a substantive is connected with an adjective, the plural sign is added only once, viz. after the


15. Declension.

last of the connected words:

9'4x%4b(lqethe 9


men'. Note. The conversational language uses the words qqq' etc. seldom, in WT scarcely ever (an exception s.

24. Remarks), but add, when necessary, such words as: all, many, some; two, three, seven, eight, or other suitable numerals (cf. Q 20, 5.). 15. Declension. The regular a,ddition of the different particles or single sounds by which the cases are formed is the same for all nouns, whether substantives or adjectives, pronouns or participles. Only in some cases, in the Dative and Instrumental, the noun itself is changed, when, ending in an vowel, it admits of s closer connection with the corrupted case-sign. We may reckon in Tibetan seven cases, expressive of all the relations, for which cases are used in other languages, viz nominative and accusative, genitive. instrumental, dative, locative, ablative, terminative and vocative. 1. The unaltered form of the noun has some of the functions of our Nominativc and those of the Accusative and Vocative. 2. The sign of the Genitive is after words with the finals

$ 4' N' ;

9' after 7' We .T' W',

9' after 7' and C; aftervowels i is simply added by means of an

G\' t>hus:$, which

then will form a diphthong with

the vowel of the noun (cf. 5 6), or if, in versification, two syllables are required, i appears supported by an forming a distinct word. 3. The Instrumental or Agent is expressed by the particles or after the re-

5q' 9 ~ '9 ~ '


15. Declension.

spective consonants as specified above; after vowels simply C\ N' is added, or, in verse, sometimes


Note. The instrumental is, in modern pronunciation, except in Northern Ladak, scarcely discernible from the genitive, and tliere are but few if any, even among lamas, who are not liable to confound both cases in writing. I n the language of common life, i n W T, the different forms of the particle of the genitive and instrumental, after consonan ts,

3 9'

etc. are never heard, but everywhere

the final consonant is doubled and the vowel i added to it, G. lus-si (Ld.), 1 ~ - i ;qq' G. lam-mi; thus:

7 3 ~


(gold), G. ser-ri etc.; or, in other words, all nouns ending in consonants are formed like those ending with (see


the example

3g~').In those

ending with a vowel no ir-

regularity talres place.

4. The Dative adds indiscriminately the postposition q' la, denoting the relation of space in the widest sense, expressed by the English prepositions in, into, at, on, to. 5. The Locative is formed by the postposition na ,inc.


6. The Ablative by

qN' n a


qq' la..

,fromL (the letter

especially with the meaning: from among), all three likewise without any discriminating regard to the ending of the noun. 7. The Terminative is expressed by the postpositions 3. or after vowels; after final s(' and 4'


and, in certain words, after



q' and



;"'N' after N' ; b

7 generally


the other final consonants. All these


16. Declension.

postpositions denote the movement to or into. 8. The Vocative is not different from the Nomi~ative(as stated if not distinguished by the interjection be known from the context.

S oh!, and can only '

Examples of declension. As example of the declension of consonantal nouns we may take 1. for those in s (respectively d, b), gN' 1 9 lu, )bodyt; 2. for those in m (n,

W/' lam ,wayc; 3. for those in g (ii), 7 ' mii~ ,eye', - of that of vocalic nouns: 4. t a or ta-wa ,snowc,





N. Acc.

gw' lus,


la-lcyi; 4-9' ' 3 lus-lcyi, us-si, iii lam-ytji; lam-mi .


; Y N ~ ~lus-kyis, Nus-sl, ' hla-kyi .. nlqw3N'lam-yyis, 1am-mi ..i


gq'nl' lus-la,





qN'qN' lus-na..

qq'qq' lam-nu


5N'g' lus-su

4q.7 lam-du

4brJ' lam

lii .




4q'WWlam-la wq.7 lam-na



Q4('filv mig-gi

194' hi;p'q$



15. Declension.


at. LOC.

Abl. Term.

W7-V'miy-gis, 87*qw nsipla @4lw4* mig-na 8q'qFJm mig-mi



p'Ra; 19'4N' K a - w ~ p-q-~ ~ - IS-4-q1 ~ ; Eawa-la

14-q' &-nu; ~ ] ' 4 * q * ~ E I

[s.qqwKa-nc; p-49qq' /'ca-wa-n2i

Pw5,19T Ka-ru,




As the plural signs are simply added to the nouns, without affecting their form, we here only give examples of declension with the two most frequent plural particles. As example for TT'the plural of the pron. ,thatc has been chosen.



777' de-day q y ~ ' ?de-dag-gi


nJNWqqN'q' lus-narn(s)-la



b qq'q&/N'diNv

77q-y' de-dag-ng

N. Acc. W b N'qqq' lus(Zij-)-nam(s)

16. Adjective,

Chapter 111. The Adjedive.

16. I n the Tibetan language the Adjective is not formally distinguished from the Substantive, so that many nouns may be used one or the other way just as circumstances require..) The declension, likewise, follows the same rules as that of substantives Only two remarks may be added here. 1. The particles 4'

are not very strictly

used for distinguishing the gender, since even in the case

of human beings 4' and

are not seldom found connected

g w v q z ~just 4'

with feminines, e. g.:


as well as

&kf'q' ,a fine girl'. 2. The Adjective stands aft,er tbe Substantive to which it belongs: thus, PO,

C: r *)

- t o , ,the high



hill', when, of course, the case-

But the vulgar language has a predilection for certain forms

of Adjectives 1. those with the gerundial particle

for the more classical

in use in Tsan:





as :


',warmc; these seem to be particula,rly

,friendlyL,less so in U. 2. compound ad-

jectives either by simple rcit'eration of the root:



qq'qq' for

e w'q ,roundc, or changing the vowel at the same time: B7'FT'


7$E.q$tl*awry etc

after this form:


Often they are quadrisyllables

qqwqw~q'% ,lukewarmc,&q'41mgqwq ,medley


17. Comparison.

signs are joined to the Adjective:

S'b;TqV$.,of the high

q'&@iv'4b;T~' ,the high hills'



Or the Adjective may be put in the Gen. b e f o r e the Substantive: dined :


-.-.5 , and then the latlter only is deb;Tq~q~ c\m



In the vulgar

speech both of C and WT the adjective sometimes preserves, even in this position, its simple form (Nominative). A third way of expression, when both are joined together, without any article, as of N ' v w qt h e d r y


l a n d , is rather a compound substantive, with the same difference of meaning as ,highlandc and , a high land' in English.

17. Comparison. 1. Special endings, expressive of the different degrees of comparison, as in the Aryan languages, do not exist in Tibetan. There are two particles, however, corresponding to the English than: 4NW,after the final consonants C 5'




N' *I),

q' and


after vowels






these particles follow the word

with which another is compared (like the Hind. x )and 1

this then preceeds the compared one, finally follows the a. adjective in the positive: 74N' (or WN')






than dog small is',

L'd" &&.

just as in Hindustani:

But also the position usual in

*) Some Mscr. and wood-prints, however, prefer, even after these consonants, the form 4q.


17. Comparison.

our European languages occurs, thus:

54'5*q5~4? k


4~77b.1~'$'54'~4 %4f\lw94L6!'b;l7T ,the me;i t of x

becoming a priest 7s relatively higher that mount Merut; ~ ~ * 9 q * ~ ~ q ~ ,~ the ~king ~ of* Tibet % 4ia * Q greater than the other ones'. The particle 4N'


be put, in the same manner, after adverbs.



4 ~ y ~ q * 4 ~ ~ ^ B ~ 4 ~ 4,(their ' J ; t ; eyes) y became more k

keen-sighted than before'.

Or, after infinitives,


,it is better (for him) that his younger k

brother should go (with him) than another'.

qf\l' for it-

self has the meaning of ,more than', with the negative:



not more than', ,onlyL;thus: E . ~ ' ~ E ' ~ T J ~ \ ~ ~ W more than two ounces I do not want' (cf. vulg. WT:


flqwqwZ)~ .there are not more than (only) three');


or ,noth-

ing but', ,only6, ? $ ~ ~ ' ~ 5 ' 4 ' r 4 ~ ' 7 9 ~,there 4 ' $ is 7 no pleasure (for us) but hunting, h. is our only pl'. 2. An Sdverb which augments the notion of the adjective itself, is "I 'qq ,morec; this can be added ad li-

9'1 * .. '"I7'rJK&tI.4'vq bitum : 74f\lv?J b 3. Another adverb, dually more', e. g.



3'means : ,more and more',


2'3'sw~$' ,going nearer and nearer'.

elder - the youngerc e. g. of two brothers, is


18. Cardinal Numerals.

simply expressed by: ,the great - the little'.

5. The

Superlative is paraphrased by the same means:






than all'. Or it is


expressed in the following manner:


the kings of the country which


one is the greatest (prop. great)?'. Adverbs for expressing


high degrees are:

qiq'gw,quiteL, q9('$





,exceedinglyc etc.





Note. The colloquial language of WT uses WE' instead of

4N' or WN', and q'

(ma, always with a strong


emphasis, perhaps a mutilated form of

wE'Zr: instead of


,muchc) or

qq'5', whereas that of CT employs w' I




in the former case, but repeats the adjective in the latter, so that ,very large' is expressed in books by

in speaking, in WT by


md cen-po, in

Chapter IV. The Numerals.

18. Cardinals :


Tgq' sum


CT by ~"em-~&em-~o.

18. Cardinal Numerale.



477 W : d u n , C : d h g a 43C W : gyad, C: gyZ k




43'474' b-dhn,

C : -dzjn, vulg: bb-d"




4X497* to-gycid, C : -992,

vulg: Eob-go


18. Cardinal Numerals.



90 Go

4 q - 4 2i-?u, ~ vulg : iib-iu

7qW4C g k - a , vulg: g8b-i.u 7qw43*g*~?q* gu-tu-sa-~ig, TqBq' 90 ~ i g k



100 pm

4 3(4w.l'CJw)gya (tiirn-pn)

(C : go-Eig) n daG (or

200 Zm

?43* rii-gp, vulg:




:3 1

qQ.43*%-gya, vulg:

400 &a

ii6-gya etc.

There are, as in sanscrit, names for many more powers of 10, but they are seldom used.

~ r W:qdal;-po, C: do,the first', the r e s t are simply formed by adding 4.to the cardinals, as : qyN'C/', 19. Ordinals.


the second etc.; the 21. is




oneth', not, as in English, ,the twenty first'.

20. Remarks. 1. The smaller number postpoued indicates, as is seen in S 18, addition, the reverse - multipli13, N w v S 30; but in the latter case cation: 4cqqq' b b the threo first numerals are changed to and

as', as




the second part of n compound after consn-

nants, is spelled

g. 2.

up to one hundred),




'].'he words

Ejw.4' (after full tens

qq' (after hundreds and thousands*)),

. is used especially if the llu111bercounting the hundreds,


30. Numerals.

((with still greater numbers), are optional but frequent is common instead of YL' ,and', to connect


units with tens (s.

5 18) but

it occurs also with hundreds

and thousands, and not seldom together with YE',

-. e.g.SJJ

7 ~ ' 8 7 7 1002. ~ ~ , I t is used also instead of £/F.lWq', as: qcg' ten, y'q'g' twenty; often it is standing alone for b


a :

'a g'TyNw, twenty two.

This latter custom may


have caused the belief, common even among educated readers in C and WT, that g' must mean t w e n t y , even when connecting a hundred or thousand to a unit, as they will usually understand the above mentioned number in the sense of 1022 instead of 1002; but the authority of printed books, wherever the exact number can be verified from other circumstances, does not confirm this, which would inadded to deed be a sadly ambiguous phraseology. 3.



cardinal number means conjunction :

together, both;


the two

4(NF.l'Tw, the three together, all three etc. b

means either the same, or represents the definite article, indicating that the number has been already mentioned, e.g.

, five 8.2- ~ ~ E1$wpw~4@$w TI '''


sent . . . The five men arriving etc. thousands ete. follows : thus,

4. 4' is used, besides

$2qqwTj'q)of thousands : twenty, k

20 000';

Rwqq'7w',many ten-thousands'. b

men were

forming Ordinals, to express the notion of ,containingg,e. g. ,that containing six lettersg, viz. the famoua






@w'~zI'$'~' om ma@ padme m

hum; qqegq, L


containing thirty (letters) ' , the Tibetan alphabet. -

5. Such combinations as

* Ty'qNq' etc. b

are frequently

used in common life, so denote a number approximately, 3

two or three or sog (cf. § 14 Note).

Zl. Distributive numerals. tition as in Hind:

They are expressed by repeeach time six, six for each etc.




In composed numerals only the last member is repeated, thus b ~ b , l m ~ ~ ' ~ each ~ q time v 4 thirty '@q two. w

22. Adverbial numerals. 1. Firstly, secondly etc. are formed from the ordinals as every Adverb is from an Ad-


jective, viz. by adding the letter .T., T C ~ T ,

etc. (s. 4 41). 2. Multiplicative adverbs, ,onceL,,twiceb etc., are expressed by putting ,times' before the cardinal:

I&-rii ,once, twice' etc. ; seldom

same meaning as

&', AT, $ ~ qwith ' the


23. Fractional numerals are formed by adding &' ,part6: thus,


,a, hundredth part' ete., but also:

q~~'&'@ ,one l *third of the treasury'.


24. Personal Pronouns.

Chapter V. Pronouns.

24. Personal Pronouns. First person: E. lia;


lie" ;


477' dug

Fq KO-wo, masc., and P;xT'to-mo,

,self6- ,Ic;Second person:



o - h e , she, itc.

The plural is formed by adding or


tged (Kyi') ,thou, youC; Third person:

( 6 ,


ios (Ld) ;

?y lied,

57' qQN', 7qqv' 9

g,but very often, if circumstances show the meaning with

sufficient certainty, the sign of the plural is altogether omitted. The declension is the same as that of the substantives. R e m a r k s : E' is the most common and can be used by every body; (s. Note);


seems to be preferred in elegant speech


EN' is very common in modern letter writing,

at least in WT;

477' ,self ',

when speaking to superior

persons occurs very often in books, but has disappeared from common speech, except in the province of Tsan (Tdilhunpo) as also the following;



in easy con-

versation with persons of equal rank, or to inferiors.

2. person.

py is used in books in addressing even

t h e h i g h e s t p e r s o n s , but in modern conversation only among equals or to inferiors;

ful, especially in books. -

is elegant and respect-

24. Personal Pronouns.

seldom occurs in books, where the de-

3. person. monstr. pron.


(5 26)

is generally used instead;


common to both the written and the spoken language, and used, at least in the latter, a,s respectful. But it must be remarked that the pronoun of the third person is in nlost cases entirely omitted, even when there is a change of subject. - Instead of E ' q ' and people of WT use

K T and


pqg; the vulgar plural of F

To each of these pronouns may be added: TKrali or

B*iiid, 5

fii' ,selfL, and

i n conversational language E'qc


, P ~ C ; are, . perhaps, even more frequently used


than the simple forms, without any difference in the mean-


is more prevalent in books, except the compound

%.TE' 7ii-mil, which is i n m o d e r n s p e e c h the usual respectful pronoun of address, like ,SieC in German.

Note. The predilection of Eastern Asiatics for a system of ceremonials in the language is met with also in Tibetan. There is one separate class of words, which must be used in reference to the honoured person, when spoken to as well as when spoken of. To this class belong, besides the pronouns



all the r e s p ect-

f u l terms by which the body or soul, or parts of the same,

and all things or persons pertaining to such a person, and



Pron. - Respectful and Elegant Terms.

even his actions, must be called. The notions, most frequently occurring, have special ~xpressions,as V'')&,in-

74' v u, i. o. q4 go ,headb; b

stead of

gq' lus,

yid, yyi', ,mindL;

Zib(s), i. o.



v4' yab, i. o.

5. (r)ta,

,father'; (vulg : WwQw),


sta ,horsec; 4q7N'CJ' iug(s)-pa


qyq*dod-pa, d6'-pa ,to sit' ; q l $ ~ q ' d z a d - ~ a , dz2-pa i. o. 574' jed-pa, jh8'-pa ,to make' and many

k-pa), i. o.


others. If there is no such special word, any substantive may be rendered respectful by adding

spectively (so,


q' or




@ i.0. $ ,lifetime6; Z J ~ T @ ~ * i.a RLJI w

,angerc) any verb by adding

& ~ q ' ,according to 39, 1.

Another class of what might be called e l e g a n t terms are to be used when conversing with an honoured person (or also by a high person himself in his own speech), such as m 4374' gyid-pa, gyi'-pa ,to doi; q&wv4?%-pa, ,to be'; %I75lad-du, l&'-du i. 357' ,for the sake of', with'



o u t reference to the said person himself. Even uneducateted people know, and make use of, most of the ,respectfulL terms, but the merely ,elegantL ones are, at least in WT, seldom or never heard in conversation.

25. Possessive pronouns.

The Possessive is simply




expressed by the Genitive of the Personal,



etc. ,Hisc, ,her', ,its', when referring to the acting subject'

(sum), must be expressed by




T a ( ' or R3 ,his


Pyvare used.


26. Reflective and Reciprocal pronouns. 1. The Reflective pronoun, ,myselfb, ,yourself' etc. is expressed by qc,

R,also 47Tv.But in the case of the same person bcing


the subject a n d object of an action, it must be paraphrased, so for ,he precipitated himself from the rock' must be said 7

he precipitated his own body etc.' .TC~'YQ'; for ,he re-

buked himself

- ,he

rebuked his own soul' ~ C ; . ? ~ ~ W N '

- 2. The reciprocal pronoun ,each other' or ,one another' ,by is rendered by ,one - one', as ~%l'~~'qF3q(-4Q~ one one was killed', ,they killed one another';



,to one one said', ,they said to each other'.

27. Demonstrative pronouns.



di, ,thisL;

de, dhe ,that' are those most frequently used, both in books and speaking. but also by

The Plural is generally formed by and

g. More emphatical




T'P('etc. ,that same'. - The vulgar dialect also uses 5'3 hd-ggi



R,TT,just this',

,this same';




$?J' jaJ-9yi for ,thatc, ,yonderL, a n d , in WT, &> 3-qfor ,thiscand W' for ,thatc; 4 occurs even i n and

books. - 2. I t is worth remarking that the distinction of the nearer and remoter relation is, even in common language, scrupulously observed. If reference is made to an object already mentioned, lowing,

is used; if to something fol-


a. ~7 ; e.g. ~ ~ ~ ~ N,that' speech ~ ~ he' said', X ~


,this ~


speech ' ~ he said~',


thus he said'; ~


he said thus, spoke the following words'.

28. Interrogative pronouns. gali, gh. ,which?';

nite article

They are

2 i.i ,what?';


q7' is often added, CT


to t,hese the indefi-

~ ' q 4 letc. ' The two former


can also assume the plural termination

77'. - In

3' su

7E' is frequently




used instead of


29. Relative pronouns. These are almost entirely wanting in the Tibetan language, and our subordinate relative clauses must be expressed by Participles und Gerunds, or a new independent sentence must be begun. The participle, in such a case, is treated quite as a n adjective, being put either in the Genitive before the substantive, or, in

the Nominative, after: ~ ~ 4 @ $ ~ ,the *merchants ~ ' ~ ~ who would go (with him)';

fl'~qwq(UI.4~N'q' b ,the cord \

on which turquoises are strung';

~ ~ ~ ' ~ ' & @ f ~ ~

29. Relative Pronouns.


one who gets (unto whom come) many presents'. Cf. also 33. Only those indefinite sentences which in English aJSe introduced by ,he who', ,who ever', ,that which', ,whatb etc. can be adequately expressed in Tibetan: by using the interrogative pronouns with the participle (seldom the naked root) of the verb, or adding (,if -' v. 41, A. 4.) to the 9



k is written more tor-


Instead of 3 in this case

rectl y.

Thus : ~ ' ~ ' y b . 1 ' 4 $ * X q * b J & * q ~ 4 y


3Tq' V

me' ;

,if anybody who possesses the good faith teach it

~ ~ ~ * @ ~ 4 * ~,when qw those~ofr you ~~

who wish to go are assembled'; ~ q w g w ? 8 @ * R .

4'qb.1~*57&~4Q4'7~944q*g ,this j e we1



will make come down like rain whatever is wished for'; ,whatever you way say



and ask of me according to that I will act, or I will grant




ask '.

4 ~ q w* ~ ~ ' ~

qgqa4$f1-$* ,having scooped the water of the sea with what force I have' ;

rn 59v40&*~*$4v@q*? 97-4-4?qWq42-

4~77786!*,I beg you to show me what sort of jewel you have found (got)'; ~ E . ~ J ~ $ ~ ~ ~ E . S ~ ( ~ * b

~~J.T'~'JT$ ,his footprints, in what place soever they fell \ -


(v. lex. s. v. TTq'), became gold-sand'.


30. Verb. - Introduction.

But the psrticiple is treated as if no relative was preceding, thus

~ ~ E ' . ~ ~ ~ f \ l ~,he~ did ~ not ~~~

recede from (recall) the word he had spoken before'; vulg.,


~ ' q E ' 4 ,the~room ~ where ~ ~ I sat'.~ ~ Chapter VI. T h e Verb.

30. Introductory remarks. The Tibetan verb must be regarded as denoting, not an action, or suffering, or condition of any subject, but merely a c o m i n g t o p a s s , or, in other words, they are all i m p e r s o n a1 verbs, like taeht, miseret etc. in Latin, or it suits etc. in English. Therefore they are destitute of what is called in our own languages the active and passive voice, as well as of the discrimination of persons, and show nothing beyond a rather poor capability of expressing the most indispensable distinctions of tense and mood. From the same reason the acting subject of a transitive verb must regularly appear in the I n s t r u m e n t a l case, as the case of the subject of a neutral ive -, verb, - which, in European languages, is the Nomin c?,t* ought to be regarded, from a Tibetan point of view, as Accusative expressing the object of an impersonal verb, just as ,poenitet me' is translated by ,I repent'. But it will perhaps be easier to say: The subject of a transitive verb, in Tibetan, assumes regularly the form of the instrumental, of a neutral verb that of the nominative which is the same as the accusative.

Thus, ~ ~ ' ~ ispro~ $ E k

31. Inflection of Verbs.



a heating happens, regarding you, EN' perlp: V by me = I beat you. In common life the object has often

the form of the dative,

rynl', to facilitate the comprehen-

sion. But often, in modern talk as well as in the classical literature, the acting subject, if known as such from the context, retains its Nominative form. Especially the verba Ioquendi are apt to admit this slight irregularity.

31. Inflection of verbs. This is done in three different ways : a) by changing the shape of the root. Such different shapes are, at most, four in number, which may be called, according to the tenses of our own grammar to which they correspond, the Present-, Perfect-, Future-, and Imperativeroots; e. g. of the Present-root q y E 4 ' ,to give' the Perfect

75C, the

root is

45C, the Future-root


9d9-4w ,to filter, boltcrespectively: q b y ~ ~ t s a ~ ( s )


of tsfi),




Imperative root

The Present root, which

implies duration, is also occasionally used for the Imperfect (in the sense of the Latin and Greek languages) and Future tenses. I t is obvious, from the above mentioned instances, that the inflection of the root consists partly in alterations of the prefixed letters (so, if the Perfect likes the or retain the 4), prefixed 4 , the Future will have


partly in adding a final


(to the Perfect and Imperative),

partly in changing the vowel (particularly in the Imperative). But also the consonants of the root itself are changed


32. Infinitive.

sometimes: so the aspirates are often converted in the Perfet and Future into their surds, besides other more irregular changes. Only a limited number of verbs, however, are ~ossessedof all the four roots, some cannot assume more than three, some two, and a great many have only one. To make up in some measure for this deficiency: ) some auxiliary verbs have been made available: for the Present tense

* Vq',

477', b -

W I IN '

and others, all

of which mean ,to be6 (5 39); for the Perfect

g ~for;the Future d\%qW, TK', and

AT, 3qw 7

the substantive

3k c) By adding various monosyllabic affixes, the Infiruk

tive, Participles, and Gerunds are formed. These affixes as well as the auxiliary verbs are connected partly with the root, partly with the Infinitive, resp. its terminative, partly with the Participle. Note. The spoken language, at least in WT, acknowledges even in four-rooted verbs seldom more than the Perfect root.

32. The Infinitive mood. the final consonants

The syllables

4- pa

or, after

K' T 4' and vowels, 4' w a are added

to the root, whereby it assumes all the qualities and powers of a noun. I n verbs of more roots than one, each of them can, of course, in this way be converted into a substantive, or, in other words, each tense has its Infinitive, except the Imperative. Prom one-rooted verbs the different Infinitives may be formed by the above mentioned auxiliaries: thus, the Inf. Perf., by adding to the Infinitive of



33. Participle.

the verb in question, or



root, and the Inf. Fut. by adding


VE*~. to the

to the Supine


(terminative of the infinitive, 4 1.B) thus, d;l@$*42;.~4~~~ x3

visurum esse, visum iri.

Note. The spoken language uses, in W T almost exclusively, a termination pronounced ?as in Turig and Bulti, zes, Ee in Ladak, ?e in Lahoul etc., ja in Kunawar, Se in Tsan etc., the etymology of which is doubtful, as it is not to be found in any printed book. 1,;irnas in Ladak and Lahoul spell it 2 ~ ' .

33. The Participle. 1. This is in the written language entire1y like the Infinitive


45EW4,having given'.

2. Whether the meaning is active



qJE'4' ,givingc,

and passive, however, can only be inferred from the context, e. g.

45~;'4$'x isq of '

course ,the money given',


but x qw45E4 ' q,the man having given, or, that has given, the money'; the Ti betan participle means nothing but that the action or condition is connected in some way with a person or thing. But it is natural that iu the present participle the active notion should be the more frequent one, as well as in the preterit the passive. - 3. In the instance of Intensive verbs (formed with

379' 38.l)the Y


usage of scientific authors has strictly connected ihe active sense with those formed with tori-Ji', instead of

37, as TF$toil - jed,


give, giving,


33. Participle.

giver, and the passive to those with toti f a i. 0.

$, RS

~ ~ K C J toGja, '

5E47CJe4' ,to be given' (dandus),


CJT~'Q~'~'Y~'~' ,to teach the things to be done and not

to be done' (Thgy). - 4. I n certain cases, especially with verbs that mean: to say, ask etc. the Participle is used before the words of the speech, where we should use the


~ ' ~ ~ f q w ,the4king " ' said . .'.

Note. I n the spoken language, of WT at least, the Participle is formed by


in the active sense as well

as the passive (whereas in books this syllable occurs only in the meaning of the performer of an action s. 12. 1.):

75n1'45~'~[9q'93* ilul /

- .

man giving the money',

ta6 hn-ni m i (s. 15, Note) ,the

45~'&JW(RJ'75nl',the money

who brought a coat for sale the other day'.

nl'gp~'qW194'T,the girl who had

shewn the door to


his reverence' (Mil). The future participle is represented, just as in English, by the Infinitive (32, Note), so that 9

the sheep to be ltilled', (in books


V%$~'$'Y~J*)is expressed, in the most Western provinces, by: sad tas-si lug, Lad.: scid-tes-si lug, Lah. etc.: scid Eii

lug, Tssh : so"'-)E-k,yi lug

~qy'4~'3~~q(', and, most like

the classical language, in Kun.: sdd j a lug.


34. Finite Verb.

34. The finite verb. 1. The principal verb of a sentence, which always closes it (48.) receives in written Tibetan in most cases a certain mark, by which the end of a period may be known. This is, in affirmative sentences, the vowel by the grammarians : 4

) in interrogative b

ones the syllable am. Before both the closing consonant ot the verb is repeated, or, if it ends with avowel,


are written. The Perfect of the verbs ending in which formerly had a sume


q' i;' q.,

C as second final - CSy'-,


7 and 5q'.- 2. These additional syllables are omitt-

ed a) in imperative sentences, 6) in the latter member of o double question, c) when the question is expressed already by an interrogative pronoun or adverb, d) in coordinate members of a period, with exception of the last one, e) commonly, when the principal verb is the verb substantive

94', VC etc. samples. a )

b) 3

(40. 1.).

Kt;.,go !', R,Tsqy. ,come here!'. -

~IfkK~.~brl'R~fl ,do you see or not?' --

who is there?',



q~'494',when did (he, you etc.) arrive?'.

,the houses were destroyed, the men killed, the whole town annihilated'. - e)

-.-%wfl'nl'q$~q q8E.qR, I ,in


sand of the river is gold'.

Note. I n conversation the o is generally omitted, and


35. Present.

the m of the interrogative termination dropped, so that merely the vowel a is heard, e. g. the question q g ~ q *

b(l%$~;.y ,(I) see',

do (you) see' and the answer monly spoken in WT: tooil-ila? tooil. 9

are com-

35. Present Tenses. 1. Simple Present Tense. This is the simple root of the verb, which always will be found in the dictionary; in WT, as mentioned above, of verbs with more than one root, only the Perfect root is in use; if, therefore, stress is laid on the Present signification, recourse must be had te one of the following compositions, Thus, &-@El,(I, thou, he etc.) see, seest

(s. 31. and Note).

7%' ,(I etc.) give' through all persons; a sentence: b;~qt;Y 1 ~TcF I

etc.', of

2. Compound Present Tenses. a ) added to the root:

(s. 40, 1) is \ -


w,(I) see', 45E'n77' ,(I) b



This is common in the dialect of WT especially. -

b) The Participle connected with

q ~b(~3$~;.4'3Ji. , .(1)

see'. In W T this, of course, is changed to

- c)

in the end

One of the Gerunds (41, A) with

-. b;~y~.qm'vd

q~ or RTq., as I

( 0


or )

nyv' or w

G '

,(I) see,

am seeing'; it must, however, be remarked that both ways of expression, b) and c ) , are not very frequent. -


?Jiwq7.or a7qW is the proper form for the compound k


36. Preterit.

English present : ~ ! E ' ? q ' 9

nyTw,(I) am writing (just

77. ,(I) am seeing', ~q'q'




36. Preterit Tenses. 1. Simple Preterit, Perfect or Aorist Tense; this is the Perfect root: 45r, at the close of thc 4

sentence 45E'C


,gave, have given, was given'; in one-

rooted verbs it has, of course, the same form as the present: &jj~.(r) ,saw, have, or was, seen '.

This is the usual

narrative tense like the Greek Aorist or French Parfait dkfini. - 2. Compound Preterit Tenses. - a ) The root with


~ ~ c S $ E ',have given, gave, was given', &@C$$K

have seen, saw, was seen'; rarely met with in books, but juli in general use in the conversation of W T. In CT 7

gr k

is used in a similar way :

f$/'~9(.5~' ,the dog has bit'. k

b) The root with

2q*(more in books),



(more in

commcln language), the true Perfect as the tense of accomplished action:


CAT ,have given etc.', ,the

,the man has already action of giving is past', Qw%$C8k left. - c ) The Participle connected with

q4'occurs more

frequently in the past sense than otherwise. Here, in the common talk of WT, 4' is used, even in those cases where the books have

4-, 9'a(*47nlv4'@Ji' yi-ge kdl-pa Pn,

or, contracted. kdl-pen, ,the letter has been sent off', in books :

47qw4w94m (s. I I, Note),


oven f31*45LW'4'ul~


37. Future.

la tdis-pa yin, tcilis-pen, ,the wages have been paid' i.

45~.4'Q7.- d )

q$'or WJ'

7 (WT) or qN' (CT) with

Gerunds in

(the same as 35.2. c ) ; also (in

later books) the mere Perfect root with

qN' being dropped:


u Tsmi and

q ~the,


,has gone'.


37. Future Tenses. 1. Simple Future. The Future-root,

qrr(r) ,shall,

will give, be given'. - 2. Compound Fu-



ture. a) The auxiliary verb

(to grow, become)

added to the Terminative case of the Infinitive:


vq(Y) ,shall, will give,

be given',


~W~T'V~'('T j b

shall, will see, be seen'. This is the most common, and, together with the Simple Future and the Intensive (:%I.), 7


'4792C;, the

only one in use with the early classical

authors in all cases where a specialFuture-root iswanted, and even where this exists. I t dissappears, however, gradually from the literature of the later period, and is replaced by the two following compositions. - b)




qrC;.iJq ,shall, ~ will see', ~ ~ Y w ,shall, will give' etc. (9' is originally a substantive, meanwith the root:



ing material, came, occasion). -


the root with

Gtl., $ 4 ' q ~ ,will arrive', or, i. o. the root, $4'4T'qC;..- Both b) and




the Term. Inf.,

are even now i n common



38. Imperative.

q~ connected with the

use in CT, whereas in WT: - d ) root is the general form: > shall,

will see',

kcillin ,will send',

~ ~ E ' QtoliTyin,

vulg.: t h i n

45~94't c i & i ,shall, will give', 47qw94' *

&UJT ?a pin,

u eazn, ECn ,will gob. 1 .

e ) In books the Participle with Q3( (35.2. b, 36. 2 c) oc-

curs sometimes also as Future.

38. Imperative mood. 1. This is usually the shortest possible form of the verb, which often loses its p r e k e d letters, though in some instances a final N' is added. I n many verbs with the vowel a , and in some with e these vowels are changed into o, besides other alterations of the consonants. Particularly often the surds or sonants of the other tense-roots are changed to their aspirates in the Im~~erittive.Thus,

%' ,give!',

CT: t ! ,look!', ~ from


yyr4'; qq Ld: ltos,

y4'; r4',throw!',



In one-rooted verbs it is, of course, like the Present, but it, can always be sufficiently distinguished by adding the m

particle ST'

(97'or $9',according to 13.). This is used

in the classical literature indiscriminately in addressing the highest and the lowest persons (or, in other words, as well to command, as to pray), but according to the modern custom of CT only when addressing servants and inferior people. - 2. I n f o r b i d d i n g. the Present-root is used with

the negative particle



,do not give!',

q'y ,do


38. Imperative.


39. Intensives.

q'R,q4~',do not throw!' - 3. I n p r a y i n g

not look!',

or w i s h i n g (Precative or Optative) either the same forms as under 1 . are used, or the Imperatives of ?4"JY4' ,to comec or



TE. ,to

come' (tho latter,

qq', of a quite diffe-

rent root) are connected with the Termin. Infin.

g.~.%l. or Sr4)'3qv,may


(1, you, he etc.) see!' - 4. In


none of the three a person is indicated, but it is natural that in commanding and forbidding the subject will be the second, sometimes the third person; in the precative also the first person can be understood. Note. The common language of WT, acknowledging only the Perfect- root, changes nothing but the vowel:


4 5 ~ ' 3 ~yq ' ; ,look!' from Y ~ N * * from 454'3q' (Perf. of ~ 5 4 ~ ~Instead 43. 4 .

,give!' from

474- ,throw!' of



which is not muchused,


45Ew (give!) is often

added to the roots of other verbs (s. 39), thus, ~MZ

,take out !' from


perative is paraphrased by

(~y~q'). Or the Im-

7 7 ~gos' (Ld). go, goi ,mustc,

added to the root ot the verb:

- In CT

4 5 4 T

4q?7Tqw,must be killed'.

the changing of the vowel seems t,o be usually

omitted, but the

?q' is more used.

Here, also, the Per-

fect root is not so exclusively preferred.

39. Intensive verbs.

1. Very frequent in books is the

39. Intensives. - 40. Subst. Verbs.

of the four-rooted verb

4 4 ~Imp. ,


374' (Pf. 3Ne,Fut. 3,

9qw), respectfully T&7'qV (Imp. qx~) with

tile Term. Inf. of another verb, to intensify the action of the latter. By this means not only one-rooted verbs can be made to participate in the advantages of the four-rooted,

shall, will see', d;lsw4r3q',see!', but also several other peripl~msticalphrases are gained for speaking more pre-


cisely than otherwise would be possible. The Future tense

g(qj* serves, besides

its proper notion of futurity, par-

ticularly to express the English auxiliaries e t ~ . thus, ~:



4X7'473'32C;,must not be uttered, ought not

to be uttered', sornetin~esit may be translated by the I m -

perativc mood. The spoken language, a t least of WT, is devoid of this convenience, and possesses nothing of tbe kind except the :tl,ove mentioned intensive form of the Imperntive, formed by


(s. 38., Note).

- 2. Another

class of intensive verbs are formed by connecting two synonyrnes, as

y2qq'qq'qw,to be

afraid', literally ,to

be fear-frightened', a.nd other similar ones.

40. Substantive and Auxiliary Verbs. 1. T o b e a)


elegant and respectful speech


qTN'4' lag-pa, 0:

la-pa (the latter word never used in WT) is the mere means


40. Substantive Verbs.

of connecting the sttribute with its subject, as: '


,this man i s a Litdakee',


~ @ ~ ' n l,isq ~ N'QT is to be under-

it you, Sir?'. Therefore the question


stood ,who are you' or ,who is he' etc., the personal pronoun itself is often omitted

being often let to be guessed. ill

daily life inWT as well as in poetry, e. g.



2q3' ,this load (is) very heavy' WT. Negatively: qmS;jb\' 7

8qwvulg. qq*, resp. q'n~qf~*- b) yC7-pa, eleg.


ia-pa, negat. :

p a , resp.


9 yod-pa,

4q7N*qW 2uy(s)-pa,C: